Two years ago, Megan Calhoun launched a website devoted to connecting mom bloggers through Twitter. Thousands of moms signed up and with that came the brand names, eager to catch the ear of this influential segment of the online population.
She called the site TwitterMoms and I joined up back in August of 2009. Since then, I’ve been involved in a wide variety of marketing programs which were offered exclusively to members. Most of these were pay or gift for post opportunities where I was rewarded for writing about a product on my blog. According to the website, more than $160,000 was rewarded to community members over the last year. A portion of the money was given to charity, and many members added their voice to stories for NBC/iVillage, the LA and New York Times and other media outlets.
What started out as a fun way to connect, turned into big business for Megan and her team and that’s probably why Twitter is now complaining about the use of their name.
A week ago, Megan Calhoun posted a message saying that Twitter had written to ask her to change the name of the site due to trademark violation. Their motivation is understandable. The name, TwitterMoms, does make you think that it’s related to Twitter but it is interesting that it took them two years to make the claim.
Megan might have lost sleep over losing her hard-won, firmly established name, but she says that she’d been mulling over a change anyway, so it became the final push she needed to make it so.
Twitter’s request was entirely reasonable and understandable. We never hesitated to communicate our intention to comply with their wishes. The time for change had come.
So, we caught our breath and set out to find a great new domain name that more accurately described the community we serve and our mission. After considering dozens of options, we settled on SocialMoms.com. Our new brand will officially launch in early January.
SocialMoms is a much better descriptor for the company and I’m glad to see that they found a name that will likely trump the one they had before. It’s also good to see a grassroots effort continue to grow despite being pecked by the beak of a bigger bird.
It’s going to work out for TwitterMoms, but the story does point out the potential danger of hitching your wagon to someone else’s star.